The Birth of Kyle

July 31, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Give me a C (section) 


Kyle was long-awaited. It wasn’t because we had a hard time getting pregnant;
but because we waited for several years before we fully decided
that we wanted to add another child to our family. So we decided
to have another baby, got pregnant, and lost that baby. Due to some
other circumstances in our lives, we didn’t try to get pregnant right
away. Once pregnant, I had a fairly easy pregnancy; although at 33, it wasn’t as easy
as it was at 27 with Amanda. Kyle kept us on our toes even before
his birth. At 35 weeks, I was 3 centimeters dilated, making me uncertain
about how or when he was going to come. By 37 weeks, I was 4
centimeters dilated; and he was born at 38 weeks, just like his sister.

was at my friend Richele’s house. Our girls were having a playdate, and
we were having lunch. We were sitting and chatting, when my water broke. I
stood up and told Richele what happened. She was excited to be a part
of the big day, but then she said, "Jen, there’s some blood." In fact,
there was a good deal of fluid and blood. I went to the bathroom, and
changed into some of her maternity panties that she still had on hand
from her recent pregnancy. She offered to call Terry, and told him to
meet us at the hospital. I wrapped a towel around my waist and drove my
car the half mile to my house so that I could grab my hospital bag and
change into a new pair of shorts while Richele loaded up her infant and
our two girls into her car and came to get me.

the way to the hospital, she suggested that I call my doctor. Since the
doctor’s office is right across the hall from maternity at
the hospital, they don’t really require a call because the nurses will
alert them. Richele said that I should just call them and let them know
that my water broke and that there was some blood, so I did. I also
called a friend and told her we were on our way and asked her to pray.
I was feeling okay at this point, but was having some contractions in my
back. As we neared the hospital, Richele asked if I wanted her to park
and help me in. I knew that getting her infant in, and keeping
track of our rambunctious 5-year-old daughters would be enough for her
to manage without trying to "help" me.  So I told her to drop me at the
front door, and I would go up while she parked and unloaded. I walked
the short distance to the elevator and took it to the 2nd floor. The
nurse was a little incredulous at this whole scene. She had my file
ready and took me to the examination/labor room. She was a little
concerned about the amount of blood there was. The doctor came
quickly from across the hall and was evaluating me and Kyle. I was 7 cm
dilated. He asked me if I was having contractions, and I said that my
back sort of hurt, but that was it. I was apparently in full labor.

was going over the options when Terry arrived. He said that the baby
seemed to be doing okay, but we had to keep an eye on things. If my
labor continued to progress quickly, and the baby didn’t seem to be in
distress, then I could probably deliver naturally. If he became
distressed, then we’d have to do a C-section right away. I don’t think
that the doctor ever left my side, and when Kyle’s heartbeat shot up,
he gave the order to do a C-section "Now!" I was put under general
anesthesia because it was the fastest, and wheeled out of the room.
Terry had to wait until after the baby was born, because I was under
general and they didn’t allow others in the room in this situation.

Terry will never forget the site of me with my guts out, and his first
sight of his new son, blue from lack of oxygen. Kyle had to be
resuscitated, but did not suffer any damage due to the lack of oxygen.  He
was born just in time.  While I was coming out from the anesthesia, the
doctor filled Terry in on all that had happened.  Apparently my
placenta had torn away from the uterine wall, compromising oxygen flow
to the baby.  The doctor said that a matter of minutes could have meant
a tragic difference in results.  I am thankful for so many things about
that day:  the doctor’s wisdom in how to proceed and skill in getting
Kyle out quickly, the fact that the hospital was less than twenty
minutes from our home, the fact that I was already at a good friend’s
home and didn’t have to think about who to call and what to do with
Amanda, the fact that it was during the daytime while the doctors were
all in their offices across the hall, and not in the middle of the
night when one would have had to be paged to come in.

woke up with my sweet, slightly shaken husband leaning over me,
looking lovingly into my eyes, and holding my hand.  I was not able to
see Kyle right away, because he was hooked up to fluids and they wanted to
monitor him in the nursery for 24 hours.   Because I had just had a
C-section, and was hooked up to some fluids of my own, I was confined to bed.
When there was a shift change in the infant nursery, a woman I will
always remember came in and said, "I heard that you haven’t been able
to see your baby yet; is that true?"  I said that it was, and she said,
"Let me go get him, but we have to be quick before the doctor checks
back in."  So, six or eight hours after he was born, I got to hold my
newest little miracle.


I don’t know if he’s so dear to me
because he’s my last child, or my first boy, or so sweet-tempered
(unless he’s just being ill-tempered, but he’s definitely one or the
other).  It might have something to do with the fact that a matter of
minutes could have changed his fate, and ours.  But we love him. . . a

Jennifer, a SAHM, blogs at Snapshot about
her faith and her family (including Kyle’s big sister Amanda).  She
posts daily about her interests, which include reading, family life,
scripture study and application and blogging–lots of blogging.

The Birth of Maya Amrita


Maya was due on March 17, 2006.  But I was two weeks
overdue, and extremely impatient, hoping to go into
labor.  Ted and I had decided that we wanted it to be
just us in the delivery room, no other family.  On the
other hand, I had NO experience with babies; and I
wanted my mom to be there to help with her when Ted
went back to work.  So, we decided she would fly the
almost 4,000 miles from Juneau to Philly one week
after the due date, so she would be there to help us
as much as possible.

Since she was 2 weeks late, our plans were obviously
not working out as we had hoped.  My mom was there,
ready to help.  But no help was needed for a week before
Maya’s birth, which was fine actually.  It was nice
to have that time together.  I couldn’t tell you the
last time we had spent a whole week together, no work,
no school – probably never.  Certainly not since the
last time we had gone on vacation together when I was
a kid.

On March 27th, I had my last exam.  The midwife told
me that if I didn’t go into labor on Thursday, I
should check into the hospital Thursday evening, after
a light dinner.  Um…what?  Spend the night in the
hospital?  I hadn’t really gotten that far in my
thinking, and I wasn’t happy about it.  But I wasn’t
effaced at all, and they would apply some goop to my
cervix, which would help efface it, and it might even
start some contractions. 

I couldn’t see any sense in
Ted and/or my mom staying at the hospital with me.
There was nowhere for them to sleep, and it seemed to
me that we were in for a long day on Friday.  The
more rested we all were, the better.  So I was
admitted, put into a fashionable robe, had the goop
applied, a device strapped to my belly so they could
monitor the baby’s heartbeat, and that was that.  The
midwife said they would hook me up to the pitocin at
9am, and that usually it takes a while to get going, so
we decided that Ted and my mom should come back at 10
the next morning.  They went home, and I stayed
behind.  The goop did start some very minor
contractions, like bad menstrual cramps, which came
about every 10 minutes.  I dozed throughout the night,
waking with each contraction, trying to get
comfortable while hooked up to the fetal heart monitor
and listening to hospital sounds.

At 7AM, my water broke.  I buzzed the nurse and told
"Are you sure you didn’t pee in your bed?" she asked.
"Huh? Does that happen often?" I asked.
"You’d be surprised," she said.

The indignities of motherhood were just becoming
apparent to me.
It was my water breaking, however, not pee.  At 8AM,
they started the IV of pitocin, a whole hour early.  I
settled in to wait.  OUCH! the pain, amazing, scary,
what-was-I-thinking PAIN started pretty much right

A couple of words about pain.  I don’t like it.
However, I like needles even less than I like pain,
and the sight of the needle at childbirth classes had
made me rethink the epidural, and try for a natural
childbirth.  And part of natural childbirth is pain
(any childbirth, actually…I have yet to hear of one
that is painless, natural or not.)  My midwife had
told me that one way to look at it was that the pain
of childbirth was a natural pain, as opposed to
breaking a leg or rupturing an appendix, and that
usually what determines whether a woman needs an
epidural is the duration of the labor.  My family
tends to have embarrassingly short labors, so I was
hopeful that I could get through without seeing that
dreaded needle.

The midwife kept asking me if I wanted to call Ted and
tell him that contractions had started in earnest.  But
my addled brain was afraid; afraid that in his
panicked state, he would get in a car accident on the
way over to the hospital, and then he and my mom would
be dead while I gave birth, left alone in a strange
city to raise my baby.  Too many Hans Christian
Anderson stories in my youth, perhaps.

At 10:00, I was standing next to the bed, trying not
to murder the resident who kept trying to take my
blood pressure.  She couldn’t get an accurate reading,
because my contractions were too close together, and
the cuff tightening around my arm made me homicidal.
I think I was in the beginning of ‘transitional
labor’.  I could hear my mom talking loudly as she
walked down the hallway.  Ted said he heard someone
yelling, and he thought, "I hope that’s not Julie."
They opened the door, and yeah, it was me.

Ted said I was making "animal noises", like an animal
that was trapped and in pain.  That pretty much sums
up how I felt, too.  I looked at my mom’s face, and I
was sure she needed to be in the waiting area.  I
wanted this to be me and Ted, and if she were there, I
would want mother’s comfort, which wasn’t going to
help me right then.  So I told her to go.  I think her
feelings were hurt; and she had been hoping to watch
Maya come into the world.

I think mine was a "back labor," meaning the pain was
low down my spine, and laying down on the bed was
excruciating.  What helped the most was for Ted to
rub my lower back while I rocked back and forth on my
feet, and for him to remind me to relax my shoulders,
that they shouldn’t be up by my ears.
Eventually, that scary needle wasn’t seeming quite so
scary, and the idea of relief was sounding pretty good
to me.  So I asked for an epidural.  The
anesthesiologist was at lunch, but they told me he was
busy with another patient, probably because I would
have lost my mind if I knew he was grabbing his  only
chance at a sandwich while I was crazy with pain.
They said he would be there soon, and that they needed
to examine me to make sure I was far enough along
before he came anyway.  Up on the table, and
oops…time to push.  I had been told that I would be
moved from the "labor" room to the "delivery" room,
but thankfully the midwife left that decision up to
me, because the thought of being pushed down the
hallway in nothing but that gown, looking like crap,
screaming and scaring the other moms didn’t appeal to
me at all.
So I pushed.  I had been told what a relief that was,
how good it felt to finally push.  Nope, it hurt like
hell, and I was SO scared.  I remember wondering if
there was a way to sneak out of there, grab a taxi, go
home, and pretend the whole thing had never happened.
My fear came from knowing that they weren’t going to
let me out of there.  So I pushed. 

After about 15
minutes of pushing, out she came.  Ted said, "Honey,
LOOK!"  But I didn’t want to – I was afraid to see
myself all gross and bloody down there – so I said,
"No! It’s GROSS!"  He said, "No, it’s our baby!"  So I
opened my eyes, and I can tell you, I don’t know what
I THOUGHT was going to come out of me, but nothing
prepared me for it being a real, live, BEAUTIFUL baby.
Her lips were all stretched out, and I remember
thinking, "Uh Oh, here comes a supermodel," but
luckily they didn’t stay that way, and her resemblance
to Mick Jaggar was fleeting.

Ted got to cut the umbilical cord, and we got to hold
her.  That amazing rush of endorphins, relief, and joy
overcame me.  I was on top of the world.  No one had
told me that the pain stops the second the baby is
out…I guess I had thought it would wane.  THANK
GOD the pain just…stopped.
After we had a few minutes with her, they brought my
mom in.  Her jaw dropped to the floor, too. They had
just told her that I wanted her, not that Maya had
been born already.


Overall, I know that I had a very "easy" labor: Four
hours from when the serious contractions began to the
end.  It sure didn’t feel easy, though.  It was the
hardest, scariest, most wonderful thing I had ever
done.  After that day, whenever something seems
difficult or scary, I just think to myself, "I can do
this…I’ve given birth."

"J" is a work-at-home mother in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She works
as a tax compliance analyst, and finds more fulfillment in writing her
blog, "Thinking About", which can be found here.  Her daughter,
Maya, is 10 years old.

The Birth of “Baby Bug”


To My Dear Baby Girl:

December 29, 2005

Daddy and Mommy went into the hospital at 8:00 am for a scheduled inducement. We decided to go that route since your older sister’s labor was only 6 hours long. We were afraid that if my water bag broke in public, I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time.

They started at about 8:45 am and you were born 3 1/2 hours later at 6 pounds, 2.9 ounces and 19 inches long.

I didn’t feel any contractions (even though I was getting them) for the first 3 hours. Daddy and I were actually watching television and laughing at the talk shows. The nurses couldn’t believe that I couldn’t feel any pain.

At about 11:45 they decided to break my water bag since I was about 5 cm dialated. The doctor had just finished her office hours and was on her way to the hospital. Once they broke the water bag, boy did I start to feel the contractions! I immediately asked for the epidural.

At about 12:00 pm, the contractions started getting worse. The doctor stopped by and said she would check on me in about half hour to see how far along I was.

10 minutes later, more contractions and still no epidural guy. I started to feel like I had to push so the nurse had the doctor paged. By the time the doctor got to my room I was fully dialated and starting to crown. She kept saying "Don’t push!" because they weren’t prepared for me to deliver yet. She had to still put on her booties, gloves and gown. The nurses still had to set up the equipment. The bed wasn’t even in the delivery position. Everyone was running around like chickens without heads! They didn’t expect me to deliver so quickly. I had my eyes closed the whole time but I could hear the chaos around me. All I could think about was the pain and pushing through it. I felt like I pushed for 5 minutes straight and the next thing I knew, you were born.

Daddy said that when the doctor finally did get in front of me, your head was already coming out. You came out so fast that the nurse had to catch you by your feet like she was holding a fish by it’s tail.

Of course, when it was all over, the epidural guy came in. He was surprised to see me already holding you. Everyone was kind of laughing and shaking their heads in disbelief at how fast the delivery went.


I guess you were just ready to be born!

Kailani is a full-time mommy to
Girlie Girl (4 years) & Baby Bug (6 months). They live in Hawaii
where she works as a flight attendant. She can be found at
The Pink Diaries or hosting her own carnival blog The Carnival of Family Life. She
loves visitors and making new blogging friends!

The Birth of Benny

July 24, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Gimme the Drugs 


now know the difference between myself and other mammals. Other mammals are
unable to get on the "Nurses’ Little Favorite" list because they
cannot call the nurses murdering killers when they are birthing their young. And
who wouldn’t want to take advantage of this purely human opportunity? Certainly
not I.

It was 10:26 on December 26th, 1999. I was sitting in the living room watching a
movie with my visiting sister-in-law, and Dan had gone to bed. I found myself
thinking, "My, these contractions certainly are REGULAR and they certainly
are STRONG. Isn’t that interesting? By
1:10 am I had taken a long shower, slurped down a big
glass of water, and stretched out in bed, and they were still moving right
along. So when Dan woke up and said, "Honey, are you alright?" I
hollered "NO!" At 3:00 am we were in the Camaro pelting down the
highway with me moaning and groaning and clutching myself and Dan saying
"BREATHE BREATHE" and me saying "I CAN’T I CAN’T." Just
like in the movies. Except we had the top up. Which, in retrospect, was a
missed opportunity. But what can you do?

We arrived at the hospital and they put me in a room to check me out. In the
screening room, I was perched on the table with one leg on each side, arms propped
up on a big garbage can, head inside, puking aggressively at regular intervals,
and still hollering and moaning with each contraction. IT REALLY HURT. A
came in to tell us we were getting admitted, she said "Would you like an
epidu-" and before she had the chance to add "ral" I had said,
"YES YES YES IMMEDIATELY PLEASE" and grovelled on the floor like a

By 6:00 am (yes that was two murderous hours later) I had
my epidural, was numb from the waist down, and was possibly the happiest person
on the planet. The man who gave me my epidural asked me what color my nail
polish was and I had the presence of mind to respond, "Blue." This
probably wasn’t what he was asking but it seemed hilarious at the time.
EVERYTHING seemed hilarious. I was in epiduralandia and I wanted to stay

At 8:00 Dr. Crockford came in and broke my water, and
very soon I was dilated to 8 centimeters and completely effaced.  At
10:30, Dr. Crockford said it was time to push, and my nurse, Amy, started coaching us through the pushing. At this point, my
epidural still had me flying HIGH so I was all too happy to hook my hands
behind my knees, pull myself up into a ball, and push like bally-hoo.
Unfortunately, two hours later all my good virtuous pushing had had absolutely
no effect. This might have had something to do with the fact that I was
vomitting with increasing frequency, so that every time we really had some
momentum worked up I had to take a break to spew horrid bile all over Dan. We
went through 20 emesis basins, and then we started rinsing them out and
re-using. You have to be environmentally responsible when you’re puking your
way through labor, after all.

At some point during all this frivolity, my epidural decided to re-evaluate its
life choices, turn in its portfolio, and take a permanent vacation. No one TOLD
me this of course, so I was still plaintively pushing the little "More
Medicine" button and getting absolutely NO medicine at all. Things took a
decided turn for the ugly when I was feeling every contraction, feeling all the
pushing, and feeling rather miserable and violent. The nurse decided to try
pushing on my hands and knees, since the other way wasn’t working, and I was
supposed to roll myself in a ball with my head down and push sort of backwards.
Oh, my. Suddenly, the patient was full of hate and vitriol. "I CAN’T DO IT
CAN’T PUSH. HELP ME." You get the idea.

Finally she let me turn back right side up. Dr. Coates came in and evaluated
the situation, and told me that the baby was "Sunny Side Up" which
means that his face was turned up toward the ceiling, and his head was
basically stuck in the birth canal. For several thousand years, I pushed with
Dr. Coates’ assistance, and the assistance of half the population of mainland
China, or so it seemed as the room filled up with
helpful observers and participants. I had one nurse pushing on my belly on the
left, one nurse pushing on my belly on the right, and one nurse kneeling on the
table above my head pushing on my belly from above. Very. Exciting. For. Me.
This is when I started yelling "YOU ARE KILLING ME. STOP TRYING TO KILL
ME. I CAN’T BREATHE. I AM GOING TO DIE." Dan, covered with hazardous vomit
and probably tired of counting to ten and yelling PUSH, was mercifully kind in
these moments, and actually let my head go down a couple times so I could get a
breath. The nurse behind my head could only say, "I DON’T WANT YOU TO BREATHE
I WANT YOU TO PUSH SO PUSH!" If I could have gotten an arm free to
dislodge her I would have knocked her across the room. Of course, now that it’s
over I am very glad she did what she did and I did apologize for calling her a

Finally the doctor informed me that I had three more contractions to push the
baby out and then they were going to do a C-section. The thought of being in
labor for one more second while they prepped me for surgery filled me with such
panic and fear that my sheer animal will kicked in and with the assistance of
all the peripheral pushers, I cranked the baby out about eight contractions
later. I was giving Dr. Coates the "I AM REALLY MOTIVATED NOW" eye so
she let me push a little over the deadline.

Finally, everyone in the room started shouting "YES YES!" and Dr.
Coates said, "Look down! Your baby is coming!" and in half a second I
had Benjamin in my arms, completely slimy with blood and gore and the most
angelic beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. I was instantly filled
with intense satisfaction, love, relief, joy, and the ability to finally
BREATHE! They rubbed him off while he laid on my chest, and then aspirated him
and took him over to the warming table. I was so euphoric, so totally charmed
and amazed and relieved that everything was swimming, including all the seeming
thousands of people in the room. I do remember seeing one face loom out of the
crowd, and I realized that this woman was staring kindly and with clinical
interest between my spread legs, and then looking up at me benevolently to say,
"Awww, honey. She’s fixing you up real nice down there! Good as new!"
And from this I knew that I had had an episiotomy and that it was being mended.
Possibly the most surreal moment of my life.


Benjamin was nine pounds, and twenty-two inches long. He has flaming red/orange
hair and blue eyes. He is the most wonderful little mouse-nosed cute-i-fied
rabbit child that I have ever witnessed. And he has been an angel from day 1.
Ben and I both had a temperature, so we had to stay in the hospital an extra
day while they gave him antibiotics through an IV. He used this time to nurse
so dutifully and earnestly that my milk came in on the second day, and he got
so nourished that he had regained his birth weight by the day after we were

He spends his days eating, sleeping, and making his Mommy and Daddy ecstatic.
He is a dear, sincere little angel baby and we love him extremely much.

Lydia is a homeschooling mother of two little clucking chickens, who rampage around Norfolk, Virginia, flapping their little wings in violin class, karate class, and other adventures.  She keeps a mobile picture blog at "Keep Your Eye on the Kids" and also writes a homeschooling blog at "Little Blue School".  This birth story was originally published here

The Birth of “P”

July 21, 2006 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Gimme the Drugs, VBAC 


I wrote this for posterity, in honor of my son’s birthday. I’ll warn you now that it’s long. I purposely didn’t whittle it down because I want to remember it as it really was, long or not. If you choose to read it, I hope you enjoy it.

Tomorrow (Saturday) my baby boy will be one year old. I can’t even believe it. This time last year, I was in labor & delivery waiting for him to be born. It was an experience I’d not had before because my first pregnancy came to fruition with a planned c-section; something I had sworn to never participate in again. Suffice it to say, my first delivery was a wholly unpleasant experience that I will probably never write about because other than the moment my newborn daughter was put before my eyes, there’s not much about it I want to remember.

But the birth of my second child was completely different and something I want to savor forever. Sadly, I waited a whole year to write this story and my memory is already failing. Thankfully my husband, who can’t remember some of the simplest day-to-day things, has a pretty good recollection of it. Between the two of us, I’m pretty sure I got all the high points. So without further ado, I give you one of my fondest memories ever…the story of my son, P.

When we decided we wanted to have another baby, I was a little afraid. I’d had an inexplicable estrogen deficiency since the birth of my first child five years prior and had worn a small patch for hormone replacement ever since. I feared that maybe I wouldn’t be able to conceive because something in my body had clearly gone awry.

As it happens, my fears were unfounded. After the first month of trying, I invested in an ovulation scope and conceived the following month.

Because of my previous unpleasant experiences with obstetric practices and because I wanted a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), I opted for an OB group that had a number of midwives on staff that was also one of the only practices in my city that would even allow a VBAC. The midwives were kind and caring and empathetic and best of all, they totally supported my wish to have a VBAC without an episiotomy. They totally GOT me. I was elated. I thought I’d died and gone to pregnancy heaven.

Being over 35, unaffectionately known as “advanced maternal age” I had to take all sorts of tests and screens and the results were very favorable so I declined having an amniocentesis. We found out we were having a boy and though I’d never imagined myself as the mother of a boy, we were very excited.

My 40 weeks of gestation flew by and other than leg aches and major carpal tunnel syndrome that impaired my already fractured sleep, I’d had an ideal pregnancy. As I neared my due date, I had to go every week to see my midwife and then, as my due date came and went, I saw them every few days. Every time, I was only dilated one freaking centimeter! I was getting nervous because if I were more than a week past my due date, the obstetricians would not allow a VBAC as the risks of a dangerous uterine rupture were increased.

On the morning of Wednesday, June 15, I woke up feeling crampy. It wasn’t all that unusual as I’d had cramps a few days before but today I felt different. And when I went pee, I noticed a very slight pink tinge when I wiped. Not wanting to be an alarmist, I decided to ignore it. I had a million things to do that day so I got dressed, got my daughter in gear and headed out.

I went to the grocery store, the post office and a few more places, still refusing to take the cramps seriously. As they became a little stronger, I started to wonder if this was labor. It didn’t feel like much more than a mild period cramp accompanied by a sort of heavy feeling in my lower abdomen so I decided not to call my midwives just yet.

By that night, the cramps were coming and going and I started to think maybe it was, in fact, labor. When I wiped after peeing and saw “bloody show” I knew for sure. At one point, between 10 and midnight they were coming every 40 minutes. Though I was getting excited, Hubz and I figured that nothing major would happen before morning so we went to bed around 1am.

At 2:30 am I woke up with what I believed were definitely contractions because they hurt. A lot.

I woke my husband up and he was really groggy and irritated. He didn’t understand why I didn’t just go back to sleep. I tried to calmly explain that the contractions hurt really bad, to no avail. His preference for sleep was really starting to piss me off. (To be fair, he claims he couldn’t get up because he was so tired).

I could feel myself becoming anxious and adrenalin was starting to kick in. I couldn’t sit still.

As the contractions got stronger, I became more agitated and couldn’t stop pacing around, talking and bugging my husband every 2 minutes.

I’m all “Hey! I’m gonna have a baby. Get your ASS UP!” and he was all “It’s not coming right now. Let me sleep”

I was so pissed. How could he even consider letting me hang out and have painful contractions ALONE???  We still bicker about that to this day.

Finally, he got up and accepted that I wasn’t going to leave him alone. We started to pack stuff up for the hospital and get my daughter’s things together so she could go stay with her grandparents.

At 5am, I called the hospital and told the midwife on call that my contractions were about 15 minutes apart and she was basically like “You’re a VBAC? Get here right away! You can’t wait!!!” Hah. Right. The baby would beg to differ.

So we dropped my daughter off at my in-laws house and arrived at the hospital around 6am. After the initial intake, I was taken to a small triage room where I changed into the gown that I would be wearing for the next 24 hours and proceeded to be poked, prodded, questioned and monitored while my contractions became stronger and closer together.

I was SO excited. I’ll never forget that feeling of anticipation; a feeling that something really special was about to take place. From my room, I could look out the window and see the sun rising over the water and reflecting off the buildings downtown. It was a fresh new day, so full of promise, and I was having a baby. Yay!

I finally wimped out and asked for my epidural because even though I was only 3 cm by about 7:30am, the pain was getting unbearable. Much to my irritation, I had to wait for an anesthesiologist to become available. If I’d known he would take so damn long, I would have asked a lot sooner, like five minutes after I arrived.

So while I was waiting, I got moved to my first labor & delivery room and some nurse came in and brusquely asked if I would mind having a military doctor training to be an OB observe.


I didn’t go to a practice full of nice, kind, mother-like midwives so some random guy I’ve never seen before could hang around and look up my dress.

So I said no and she got all snitty with me. “This IS a teaching hospital, you know” Uh no, actually I didn’t know.

And I replied, “Well, that’s the first I’ve heard of any of this and I really don’t want to do it.”

Turns out they were hanging all their hopes on me because the other women in L & D at that moment didn’t speak English and couldn’t give permission. Oh, well.

I eventually got my epidural and was able to relax. Ahhhhh. Much better. An hour or so passed and ouch! I started feeling pain again. On ONE side. My epidural had become lopsided.

Another big long wait while I writhed in lopsided pain and finally, the anesthesiologist came back and tinkered with it and left. No change. I was BEGGING at that point for them to just do it again but they were really afraid to because of potential complications. I could have cared less. I pleaded and they said they would get another guy to re-do the epidural because the first anesthesiologist didn’t want to do it.

To chill me out while I waited, they gave me some Fentanyl. Why do people like that stuff so much? Seriously, it was awful. I itched from head to toe for thirty solid minutes.

After a while, I finally got a new anesthesiologist and another epidural. It worked and life was good again. Except that I was still 3cm dilated.

At about 1pm (I’ve now been there for 5 hours) the midwife broke my water with a thing that looked like a plastic knitting needle in hopes of moving things along.

The rest of the day was a blur of me looking at the monitor and watching the contractions of my uterus as well as the contractions of all the other women in Labor & Delivery and getting my cervix checked. Nurses went off shift and new ones came and I never got past 7cm. I stayed there all evening.

Finally, at about midnight (I’ve now been there for 18 hours) the midwife said they were going to give me a tiny bit of Pitocin because my labor had stalled and the baby had been without amniotic fluid for almost 12 hours. They typically don’t give Pitocin to VBAC candidates because it can be dangerous but because a C-section was starting to look like a real possibility and I was so vehemently against having one, she decided a small amount of Pitocin was warranted.

I fell asleep for the first time in 24 hours (remember, I had only slept about an hour the night before when the huz wouldn’t get out of bed) and when I woke up an hour or so later, I had the worst friggin’ back labor.

The feeling was indescribable and clearly something that the epidural wasn’t going to alleviate. The pressure was so intense, I almost felt like I couldn’t breathe. I asked for heat packs, which helped some, and realized that this baby would be here soon..but not as soon as I’d imagined.

More cervix checks and ice chips and monitor watching until about 4:15am (I’ve now been there for 22 hours). Then the midwife announced that I was finally 10cm and it was time to push!

I’d like to set the stage for you…

I was in my third room and second L&D suite at this point. This one had two beds, a TV and a ton of medical equipment. But the whole time I’d been in this room, they’d never turned on the ugly, bright fluorescent lights. They used these soft, warm, cozy overhead lights above my bed and it was so nice, like being at someone’s kitchen table.

There were only four people in the room; Jan, the awesome midwife, a very awesome, young-ish OB nurse, Hubz and me. It was mostly quiet and not at all like the births I’d grown up watching on TV where the light is all bright and glaring and there are like 8 people in the room yelling at the woman to push. It was so mellow and low key.

The nurse and Hubz held my legs and every time a contraction started to come, I was to put my chin to my chest and push while Jan counted to 10 and then I rested until the next one. I stopped waiting for Jan to tell me when to push. I would feel the contractions, get in position and start pushing. This went on FOREVER!

They had put a mirror at the foot of the bed so I could see the baby’s head. He had a ton of dark hair and it was really cool to see but after an eternity of being told to push because “his head is RIGHT THERE. He’s almost out!! Just a little more” by the three of them , I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I was exhausted. I told them, implored them, to use the forceps or vacuum but Jan said it was too late, whatever that means. I told them they’d been saying his head is “right there” for so long. Why was he not coming out already?

I begged for them to just let me rest because I couldn’t do anymore and Jan said something along the lines of “Yes you can! You’re having this baby!”

I swear, the whole exchange was right out of a movie.

They let me rest for about about 30 seconds and then it was back to pushing for all eternity.

Tra la la…

And then suddenly things became urgent. I was being asked to push harder and harder; harder than I ever have. I would find out later that the baby was in serious distress and needed to come out right away.

Jan told me she needed to do an episiotomy and I was like “Nooooooooo!” but I felt the sting and she told me it was already done.

Again, I was told to push harder, harder, harder. “The baby has to come out RIGHT NOW!”

And then FLOOOOOP!

Like a big wet noodle, he was out!

I forgot all about the episiotomy and everything else and marveled at this gigantic baby I’d just delivered. The room was suddenly full of people and everyone was talking about how big he was. I heard someone say, “No wonder he wouldn’t come out.”

They weighed & measured him with more exclaiming from the nurses. He was 9lbs 6.5 oz. and 21.75 in. And his head was some number that apparently isn’t even on the chart, but most importantly, he was healthy. (And poopy. He’d pooped right after delivery. And in case you’re wondering, I pooped during the delivery. Yep.)

I looked over at him while they were doing whatever it is that they do to new babies and was awestruck, as all mothers are, at this little creature I’d grown inside me for nearly a year. Though newborns are naturally kind of funny looking, I thought he was a work of art, the most beautiful thing I’d seen since my daughter was born. And considering that I pushed for 2.5 hours, his head wasn’t even all that pointy.

I was smitten then and I’m smitten now. P started out as a grumpy baby with a scream that could shatter glass, who had trouble pooping and wouldn’t sleep unless he was being moved rhythmically while tightly swaddled and grew into a mischievous, curious, playful, friendly little guy that I love more than words can say. I am truly head over heels in love with him. We are so tightly bonded that honestly, I really miss and crave him when he’s not with me.

And as a disclaimer, in case my daughter ever reads this, saying how much I love P in no way diminishes the love I have for her. She is my firstborn and I love and adore her with an intensity that cannot be described.

While I may grouse about the dullness and lack of spontaneity and fun in my life, I would not change a thing. My kids mean everything to me.

In closing, I was technically in labor for 48 hours, from Wednesday morning when I awoke with mild contractions (that I called cramps…lol) until I gave birth almost exactly 2 days later after pushing non-stop for two and a half ass-kickingly hard hours. P was a week late and actually born on the day that I would have had a c-section if I hadn’t gone into labor. Holy crap!!!!


Happy first birthday, big guy!

Izzy is a mom of two kids aged 1 and almost 6 years. She is a WAHM graphic designer and creates aesthetically pleasing blogs for fun and profit!  She can be found blogging during naptimes and late into the night at Izzymom (where this birth story originally appeared here.)

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